Appearance: Always Not A True Factor To Judge Character Of A Person

1293 words - 6 pages

William Shakespeare has become a very critical landmark in English literature. He provides our society with a range of moral and valuable lessons that put him ahead of his time through his work. His play, The Merchant of Venice, provides the readers with a very significant lesson. Through the casket plot, the different portrayals of certain groups, and the portrayals of people, he is able to prove that appearance is not always reality.
During the novel, Shakespeare uses the casket plot to prove that appearance is not always reality. This plot shows the audience that everything shouldn’t be judged for what it looks like. Shakespeare first shows how appearances can be deceptive by the use of ...view middle of the document...

As he comes to judge the lead casket, he immediately rejects the casket for how unattractive it looks. In fact, Shakespeare uses the lead casket to show how people should be judged. In this part of the plot, Lord Bassanio is put to the test and he shows how powerful his love is for Portia by using his wise judgement. Bassanio rejects the gold casket saying that, “The world is still deceived with ornament” (51), and the silver casket he deems a “pale and common drudge ‘tween man and man” (52). Due to his wise judgement, it was evident that glamour and appearance are not the only two pieces of criteria to look for while judging someone. Thus, despite the unessential judgements that certain suitors made, Shakespeare is able to demonstrate that appearance does not account for everything.
Throughout the novel, Shakespeare shows that appearance is not always reality through the portrayal of certain groups in this play. Groups that appear to be good turn out to being unfair and evil. For instance, in The Merchant of Venice, Christians are seen as “good people” through the entire play until the trial plot. Christians, in this plot did not show a sign of mercy: “Soft. The Jew shall have all justice; soft, no haste; he shall have nothing but the penalty” (80). Through this plot, Christians seem as if they were villains since they strip away most of Shylock’s properties and money for no good reason. In fact, Shakespeare shows that certain groups, who appear to be evil, turn out to being human. For instance, the Jews in this play were deemed as unmerciful and inhuman to other characters within the play. However, the Jews are able to forgive the Christians: “I take this offer then. Pay the bond thrice and let the Christian go” (79). Shakespeare attempts to show a more human side to a mean and abrupt set of characters through the perspective of the audience. Another instance is the rich group who appears to be stuck up but often are not. A rich heiress falls in love with Bassonio, a man who is facing financial stress throughout the entire play. Portia loves him even when Bassanio is not up to her status, and lends him money to help out his friend, Antonio: “Pay him six thousand, and deface the bond. Double six thousand and then treble that, before a friend of this description shall lose a hair through Bassanio’s fault. First go with me to church, and call me wife, and then away to Venice to your friend“(58). This part of the plot shows that not all rich people are stuck up and gives a different perspective upon them within the Elizabethan society. Thus, certain groups may appear to be a certain way but they...

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